Detox or following a “cleanse” diet is all the rage. We are told our body needs to be detoxed but what exactly does that mean and doesn’t our bodies already do that naturally?
What does detoxification mean?
Detoxification means the removal of toxic substances that could potentially cause harm to our body. Round the clock our body is detoxifying itself by transforming molecules that have been introduced into our body through eating, drinking, breathing or substances absorbed into our skin. Detoxification also involves processing medications that need to be transformed and excreted from the body through urine, feces, respiration or sweat.
How our body detoxifies itself naturally
There is a prevailing thought amongst some people that our body needs help in getting rid of toxins. They may believe our body is not totally capable of doing it on its own and therefore insist juices, cleanses, and other detoxifying substances are necessary.
Our bodies are quite capable of detoxifying or healing itself naturally with a built-in extraordinary internal detoxification system. Five organs are involved in this process:
1. Our liver – The liver is our first line of defense against toxins in our body. The liver filters toxic substances we inhale or eat and if the body doesn’t need them, the liver excretes them.
2. Our digestive system – Both the small and large intestine detoxify by eliminating toxic substances from the body.
3. Our kidneys – 24/7 our kidneys are on a mission to constantly filter the blood getting rid of toxins in the form of urine which we eliminate from the body.
4. Our lungs – removes gases from the body.
5. Our skin – detoxifies by reducing the penetration of toxic substances.
As you can see, our body really doesn’t require help from outside sources. It is far more efficient at detoxifying than any magic potions, diets, juices, or other means that claim to be better at the job of detoxifying than our body.
How to help your body’s natural detox system
If you have concerns whether your body is doing its job of detoxification, there are things you can do be involved in the process. Here is how you can be supportive of your body’s natural detox abilities:
· Drink plenty of water daily – at least 6-8 cups or more.
· Include five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
· Consume between 25-30 grams of fiber each day by choosing more vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
· Eat cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
· Daily choose berries, artichokes, garlic, onions, leeks, turmeric, and drink green tea. All of these foods support detoxification pathways.
· Consume adequate protein critical for maintaining optimum levels of glutathione, the body’s master detoxification enzyme.
· Fermented foods help the body manage toxins from microbes living in the gut. Add to your diet kefir, yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Be physically active by including 150 minutes or moderate activity (brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (running) a week. This keeps all the organs involved in detoxification healthy. It also improves the circulation of blood to the liver helping to regulate and process toxic substances faster.